An interview with an explorer of sound and a creator/curator of aesthetic, Loke Rahbek (Croatian Amor, Lust For Youth, Sexdrome, Var)
I’d like to begin with the versatility in your orchestral range. Whenever I hear your music, I always expect something different.
Where does that fascination of creating something new, separate, come from?
Do you feel that separating each style of music with a different moniker allows for greater intimacy and individuality with the project? Can you elaborate why you choose a separate moniker for each project.
LR: I don’t know, that it is so strange to want to do different things. I try and bike a new route to our store everyday and go to a new place to swim, I try and enjoy the view from as many angles as possible. I imagine that it will change with years, that I someday will know my favorite route, and my favorite part of the harbour, but it would be much too early to settle now.
The different projects all serve different purposes, they could not be one, or I don’t think they should rather. I look at them somewhat like different parts of the same body. Hands, ears ,eyes, genitals. They have different assignments, but work for the same machine so-to-speak. Or costumes in a big closet.
There is freedom in new names. That is an important aspect;
to be totally free
What’s your writing process when composing new projects?
Do you let influences submerge you entirely in what you want to capture or does influence bare a small presence when you decide to venture into new music projects? How does it effect the overall aesthetic of the composition?
LR: It rarely starts with music, most often there is a picture or a word or a sentence. Something that gets stuck in the system. The writing process is different in every project and for every time really, sometimes I lie on my back for a long time and listen, sometimes I shout till I lose my voice. Somethings are best recorded early in the morning and some late at night, it depends the project and it depends on the day.
Posh Isolation really delves further into the realm of versatility with each of its releases. What do you feel are the important components/aspects when picking up a project and releasing it on Posh Isolation?
LR: It has always felt like Posh Isolation decides for it self what it wants to do. The pallet is broad definitely but, I think all the colours still match.
The visual aesthetic of the label is striking and abrasive. When you began Posh Isolation what was the attraction to the imagery attached to the labels art and music?
With the aesthetic you adhere to, what do you want it to do to the listener?
LR: The visual is the first meeting, the first impression. It depends on the story, it depends on the room, what indicators you want to give. If you are going to church you wont usually wear your bondage gear. If you go on a date you might wear a dress that you wouldn’t wear to a job interview. It is a lot like peacocking.
Presentation is everything.
To go further into Posh Isolation, what was the initial idea spurred from and what is the symbolism behind the name?
LR: The initial idea was to put out the first Damien Dubrovnik album. When that was done it felt like there was more to be done, now 130 releases later it still feels like there is more to be done.
When you create a new music project, do you find yourself thinking about the sonic aesthetic behind the project and then the visual aesthetic, which comes first or do you build an idea that revolves around both imagery and sound at the same time?
LR: Well it is difficult to give a straight answer to a question like that cause it always changes, and it is never one or the other completely. I am not a musician, I don’t think in music most often, I think in images and translate them. But, I guess they correlate, the images follows the music and the word and vice versa.
What kind of transition is there into making music of a different style and how do you prepare yourself to enter a completely different mindset?
LR: They [mindset] are different of course but, they are also there, all of them floating next to each other in the same bloodstream. Yesterday I read “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad by a lake in Sweden and it moved me, then I ate lunch. In the evening I saw my good friend play a beautiful piece in an old mine facility, with 20 meters or more to the ceiling. Then I checked my emails and after that we had drinks, I chatted about big and small with a beautiful girl, then I talked with a boy about making music for a long time. All those situations require different mindsets, each action or communication is unique. The day before I performed with Damien Dubrovnik and that, again, required something else. But, all the emotions and the reactions are in there, the hand that beats is the same hand you use to caress someones forehead or turn on a light switch or wash vegetables. Sometimes I shout, sometimes I scream, sometimes I sing or talk, the transitions are natural.
Do you find that the projects, though separate, interconnect with one another and help your composing?
What was it like playing the last Sexdrome show? Do you feel that you will ever come back to Sexdrome or do you feel like the progression you’ve made in your career as musician has made you want to conclude the project permanently? While we are on the subject of projects ending, why did you decide to end Var and do you feel that the style of music Var made will ever resurface in your music again?
LR: It is important to know when to stop, it is almost as important as knowing when to start. Everything moves and everything has a peak. Sexdrome ended because it had served its purpose. Playing the last show was an incredible experience; and the fact that it could be that proved that it was stopped in time. There is nothing worse than when people dont have a sense of when to stop talking. The same counts for Vår, it said what it wanted to say. In the end, everything must go.
Continuing with Lust For Youth, how do you feel about the groups gained popularity and lighter/brighter sound on International?
LR: I am very happy with the album and about the time we spent making it. I am curious to see what’s next.
What was it like writing a Croatian Amor album whilst writing the LFY album?
LR: To be working on several different projects at the same time is not new for me. That is the position I have put myself in, they learn from each other of course, but they are also completely different.
"The Wild Palms" has a very unique method of purchase. Do you think you’ll have more releases which involve a level of highly significant level of intimacy with the album and in purchasing the album?
LR: I hope so, “The Wild Palms” has been a very rewarding experience.
How do you want/feel this to affect the listener when listening to the album?
LR: I touched upon this in another interview but, my hope is that the release will be a shared piece somehow. Equal in its communication, making the relation less asymmetrical.
Now that you’ve concluded Sexdrome, finished The Wild Palms and International, what are you venturing in next?
LR: That is a secret
What’s next for Posh Isolation?
LR: That is also a secret
conducted and transcribed by Nicholas Hodges